How to Get Rid of Bloating
Belly bloat happens to nearly everyone — and when it strikes, it can make you look three months pregnant, even if the number on the scale doesn’t change.
Despite the steadfast scale digits, you can certainly feel like you’ve gained weight — and have trouble slipping into your skinny jeans. We all have air in our intestines. But when you produce more air than usual, this causes the abdomen to distend, resulting in bloating.
How long you suffer from a bloated belly really depends on the person. In some cases, the symptoms of bloating can disappear within a few hours. In other cases, bloating can last a few days. Here’s how to get rid of bloating — and look 10 pounds thinner, stat.
1. Avoid cruciferous vegetables
Why it works: Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables can make you feel bloated thanks to raffinose — a sugar that is hard for the body to break down. In trying to do so, your body produces gas as a byproduct, which will make you bloat.
2. Ease Digestion With These Microorganisms
Why it works: Foods with probiotics, like yogurt, can help with bloating because probiotics restore the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut and help your body digest food more efficiently. One word of caution, though: If you’re sensitive to dairy, yogurt could set off even more bloating. Instead, get your probiotics in pill or Kombucha form.
3. Get Rid of Bloating With Exercise
Why it works: When you’re bloated, going to spin class or CrossFit is probably the last thing you want to do but you should try to hit the gym anyway. Exercise stimulates the digestive system and the bowels, causing food and drink move through your system faster, getting rid of any bloat-causing gas in the process. A vigorous workout that activates the sweat glands also helps release any fluid you might be retaining. In fact, some doctors believe our sedentary lifestyle is a major culprit in chronic belly bloat. So put on your walking shoes and hit the pavement — daily.
4. De-Stress to De-Bloat
Why it works: In a cruel twist of fate, stress can actually increase bloating.
Stress and anxiety release adrenaline into your system, which alters the way your body processes food. The result: stomach pain, indigestion and bloating. I recommend deep breathing, meditation or yoga to calm your mind — and deflate your stomach.
5. Eat Less Sodium
Why it works: Sodium isn’t all bad — if consumed in moderation. In fact, it’s essential for your body to function properly. However, according to the CDC, the average American consumes 3,300 milligrams of sodium a day — that’s at least 1,200 milligrams over the recommended 2,300 milligrams or less a day. Most of the sodium Americans consume comes from processed foods. Though convenient, those ready-to-eat meals, lunch meat and, yes, even cereals are swelling up your belly like a water-logged sponge.
The simple solution: Slash sodium to reduce water retention. This means carefully checking labels and, if possible, avoiding canned or processed foods.
Another way to deflate fast? Potassium. Foods rich in potassium, such as bananas, may help regulate sodium levels in your body and can thus reduce salt-induced bloating.
6. Avoid swallowing extra air.
Why it works: When you breathe air, it goes through your lungs and supplies your blood cells with essential oxygen. When you swallow air, however, it can cause your intestines to fill up like a bicycle tire.
To prevent bloating, give up the gum and drink straight from the cup. Also, be sure to take the time to eat your meal. When you eat in a hurry, you swallow a lot of gas-producing air.